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The Unique Aspects of Washington, D.C. Criminal Laws

The structure of the law enforcement and court systems in Washington, D.C. can be difficult to navigate and understand. Anyone charged with a crime needs the local expertise of Washington, D.C. criminal defense law firms to ensure their defense is effective within this unique legal system.

Why you need a local criminal defense lawyer to handle your defense

The legal system in Washington D.C. poses unique challenges for a Washington, D.C. criminal defense lawyer.  While criminal activities occur at a rate on par with many areas of the nation, the entire structure of law enforcement and prosecution differs from any other state in the union. Consider the following facts:

  • Violent crimes: In 2008, Washington D.C., there were over 1,400 violent crimes per 100,000 people, and over 5100 property crimes reported per 100,000 people.
  • The complexity of local law enforcement: law enforcement is complicated—any criminal defense lawyer needs to thoroughly understand how law enforcement works to provide an effective defense in the early stages of an arrest.  While the primary agency is the Metropolitan Police Department, other local police agencies have jurisdiction as well, including the District of Columbia Protective Services Police Department, the Metro Transit Police Department, and federal agencies such as the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Capitol Police.
  • The prosecution is also complex: The criminal prosecution system in the District of Columbia is also complicated.  Where the Attorney General of the District of Columbia has jurisdiction in civil proceedings and misdemeanor prosecutions, federal offenses, and local felony charges are prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, appointed by the President.  In most other U.S. states, most prosecutors are elected directly, with the remainder locally appointed.  Anyone seeking assistance from a criminal defense law firm needs to ensure his or her attorney is comfortable operating within this unique system.

The criminal laws in Washington, D.C. may be similar to the laws nationwide, but the criminal process is very different.  With almost three decades of combined experience representing clients in the District of Columbia and Maryland criminal courts, the attorney at Lotze Mosley, LLP has extensive experience with the complex legal system.

Whether you are being investigated or charged with a felony or misdemeanor, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands the complex legal system, can explain the dangers, advise you of your rights, and achieve the most favorable outcome possible.  Contact Lotze Mosley, LLP at (202) 393-0535 to schedule an initial appointment to discuss your situation as soon as you are investigated or charged with a crime.


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